SEBASTIAN – On Friday, a Sebastian Police K-9 died after the officer parked his vehicle at the Brevard County Courthouse in Melbourne for a hearing.
Detectives suspect that the officer, who normally leaves his K-9 at home when going to court, forgot that the dog was in the SUV.
“Unfortunately and tragically a Sebastian Police canine was found expired Friday evening. This was unexpected. The situation is under investigation by the Melbourne Police Department and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Services Unit as that is where the incident occurred,” Commander John Blackledge told Sebastian Daily.
“The Sebastian Police Department will conduct the appropriate administrative investigation subsequent to their independent investigation,” said Blackledge.
Sebastian Police usually send K-9s to assist the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office near the county line to help deputies. Sources say the officer was at the courthouse in Melbourne about a case.
Some vehicles are equiped with alarms if the temperature rises, but sources say the officer turned off the vehicle while at the courthouse.
People familiar with the officer say the he has 2 other dogs that are used as pets. One dog is retired, and the other was injured while on-duty.
The officer’s name being withheld until Melbourne Police and the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office complete their investigation.
Lt. Cheryl Trainer, spokeswoman for the Melbourne Police Department, told Sebastian Daily that the officer found the dog deceased in his car. “Right now it is a joint investigation. The officer is devastated.”
While Lt. Trainer says there was no intent, they have talked with the state attorney’s office about the case.
Brevard County investigators said the officer had left the Sebastian Police Department about 11 a.m. Friday. The officer found the dog at 7:30 p.m. According to the National Weather Service, temperatures hovered about 88 degrees most of the day.
The dogs name was “Diesel” and loved by everyone at the police department.
“Our entire department is saddened by Diesel’s tragic death; please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. More information will be released when available,” said Blackledge.